Ministership has nothing to do with whom one is married to: Transport minister

Transport Minister Aishath Nahula has stated that her ministership is in no way related to whom she is married to. The minister made the statement while speaking on a program aired on state radio channel on Saturday.

Minister Nahula is married to prominent businessman and leader of the ‘Jumhooree Party’, Gasim Ibrahim. Gasim, as part of a coalition, played a crucial role in ensuring a win for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during the 2018 presidential election. His party remains the party with the largest percentage of shares within the coalition.

When asked if her ministership was ‘bestowed’ on her as she was the spouse of Gasim Ibrahim, Minister Nahula said she does not believe any cabinet seat can be attained by being married to a specific person.

“I do not believe President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih would appoint anyone to the cabinet based on who they are married to,” said Nahula.

Despite Nahula claiming that her ministership has nothing to do with the relationship she shares with her husband, NAhula’s name was proposed for the position on a Jumhooree Party slot by her husband. A credible source said the minister herself had expressed interest to the president regarding ministership when President Solih won the presidential election.

While the current administration came to power as a coalition of four political parties, it was decided among the coalition partners how much power will be given to each party prior to the election. However, only the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) received the agreed upon number of cabinet seats.

When asked if the current administration is fair in sharing power with the Jumhooree Party, Minister Nahula said although some opportunities have been delayed, the reason behind the delays is the COVID-19 pandemic. She has full confidence that JP will get its due within the government, said the minister.